A sump pump is an integral part of a home’s plumbing system as it reduces the risk of water damage to the basement and crawl space.
This device moves water away from a sump basin dug at the lowest point of a house, thereby helping keep the area dry and prevent it from flooding.
A sump pump should only run when there’s excess water in the ground around your basement, such as during heavy rains, when there’s an increase in ground water, or when snow is melting.
If your sump pump is running when it isn’t raining, there is a chance something is wrong with the device.
A sump pump that keeps running even when it’s not needed can wear the motor and its lifespan will decrease significantly.
Let’s look at the possible reasons your sump pump might be running even when it’s not raining.
An elevated water table can lead to excess water in the ground around your basement and cause your sump pump to keep running even when it isn’t raining.
A rise in water table can be caused by a nearby stream changing its course or construction activities that may alter run-off.
A sump pump check valve is a one-way valve installed within the discharge line to keep water in the discharge pipe from flowing back into the sump pit when the pump switches off. If this valve malfunctions, the water being pumped out of the sump pit will keep reentering the discharge pipe and this could cause the device to keep running continually.
A sump pump float switch activates and deactivates the sump pump depending on the amount of water in the sump pit. When the water in the sump pit rises, the float rises with it and the arm attached to the float ignites the pump when the water reaches a certain point.
Sometimes the float switch can get stuck in the "up" position due to obstruction or damage and fail to rise and fall with the water levels. This may cause the device to run continually.
In some cases, the float can be dislodged manually if the problem is caused by an obstruction. However, a damaged float switch will need to be replaced to restore your sump pump to its good working order.
Over time dirt, debris and other particles may accumulate in the drain line and discharge pipe that channel water away from the sump basin, resulting in a blockage.
If your sump pump is running but it doesn’t seem to be moving water out of the sump pit, you should inspect the drain lines to see if there’s a blockage.
Our plumbers at Mr. Rooter Plumbing have the knowledge, experience and the equipment to repair and replace all types of sump pumps.